NEES @ UC San Diego

Performance-Based Seismic Design Methods and Tools for Reinforced Masonry Shear-Wall Structures (2010)

Performance-Based Seismic Design Methods and Tools for Reinforced Masonry Shear-Wall Structures


PI: Benson Shing UC San Diego
Co-PI: Richard Klingner University of Texas, Austin
Co-PI: David McLean Washington State University


Test Schedule

Video Footage

Current code provisions and strength design methods for reinforced masonry shear-wall structures do not adequately distinguish the unique design requirements and performance characteristics of high-rise and low-rise masonry shear wall systems of different configurations. Moreover, current seismic design provisions for masonry structures are force-based with overlays of prescriptive requirements, some of which are neither practical nor rational and have not been substantiated with experiment research. This research project is aimed to improve reinforced masonry design methods and develop analytical tools required for the performance-based design of these structures. It is a joint effort of UCSD, the University of Texas at Austin, and Washington State University through a Measurement Science and Engineering Grant awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In this project, shake-table tests will be conducted on two full-scale reinforced masonry wall specimens at the UCSD NEES Site with support from the NEES program of NSF. One of the specimens will be a three-story cantilever wall system completed with floor and roof diaphragms, and the other will be a two-story perforated wall system with an irregular arrangement of window openings. These tests are to evaluate current and improved design methods and reinforcing details, and to further our understanding of the behavior of these structures under sever seismic load conditions. In addition, extensive quasi-static tests will be conducted on reinforced masonry wall panels at the University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University to support the development of improved design details and analytical models. Improved displacement-based design methods will be explored and developed as an alternative to the current force-based design approach. The first set of shake-table tests will be conducted on the three-story specimen, and is scheduled to begin in December 2010.

Project Description [pdf]


The Large High-Performance Outdoor Shake Table is supported in part by the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Engineering Simulation (NEES) program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number CMMI-0927178.

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